Building Geniuses - Solving Everyday Problems with Technology

By Shivananda R Koteshwar, Director-Design Technology, MediaTek Inc.

What if billions more people had access to the world’s best technology that enabled fridges to be as smart as phones, cars to drive themselves and robotic fish to patrol the oceans? Just imagine a world where everyone has easy access to technology, enhancing consumers’ lives, making everyday tasks simpler and more efficient. This idea is key to the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT).

We are now a part of a world where technology is no longer only about computing but also about connecting people to machines, and machines to other devices – it’s now about building everyday products for everyday people! The technology not only powers smartphones and tablets, helping people around the world to get online for the first time, but also Smart TVs and Wearables that offer completely new ways to communicate. The future of technology is the intersection of Mobility, Sensors, Connectivity and Cloud storage Data Analytics - IoT. In the IoT world, everything and everyone can talk to each other using the internet.

Already we are seeing a strong effort towards building meaningful applications and devices to enhance consumers’ lives across verticals like healthcare, automobiles, wearables and industrial automation. 

Considering all the sensors, like motion sensors (Accelerometer and Pedometer), Environmental Sensors (Finger print sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Barometer, Magnetometer, Proximity Sensor, Heart-rate monitor, IR Gesture, Hall Effect and humidity/Temperature Sensors) and Position Sensors (Gyroscope), a smartphone has today, these sensors help redefine the engagement model with things around us and serve as one of the key components of the IoT world. A smartphone can serve as a contextually aware device and enhance the user experience based on sensor data.

For example, if the phone sensor detects that you are driving a vehicle, it can reduce distractions by filtering only essential communication and enabling voice-based control rather than touch control. Another example of enhanced user experience based on sensor data is the inclusion of activity trackers in a phone, which monitor your daily activity to encourage a healthier lifestyle, and gestures, which act as interface shortcuts that reduce the need for multiple touch-screen taps.

Mobile companies have made our life easier and more enjoyable, often in ways we couldn’t even imagine a few years ago. Technology from these companies expands horizons and creates new opportunities to discover more about the world. This creates an opportunity to give rise to a new generation of coders, unlocking fresh creative talent and inventing ways of doing business. With improved and affordable smartphones and tablets, vast numbers of people all over the world are getting connected, and in powerful new ways. It means that life all over the world is made easier and more fun, often in ways that have only just been dreamed up. That’s Everyday Genius.

The key components which make this possible are: (1) Next generation connectivity enabled Smartphones, (2) A developer hub offering developers the hardware, software and services they need to turn ideas into proof of concepts, prototypes, and products for the IoT marketplace, (3) Affordable development platforms with simplified solution based on Industry leading SoCs for IoT devices, (4) A developer centric ecosystem supporting device creation, application development, and services and finally (5) Easy access to the professional, robust, and highly secure AWS cloud and a scalable and secure way for managing, displaying, and analyzing the potential billions of data points that will be created by the upcoming wave of IoT devices. 

IoT is unlikely to see the explosive growth smartphones category experienced, but "its life cycle will be longer" as it will take more time to devise solutions for varied products spread across automotive, health care and other service sectors. And as innovation starts to simplify device use, adding value to end consumers’ daily tasks, more and more people shall begin adopting this new technology, further strengthening the wave of IoT. 

Smartphones is just one small part of the IoT world. We will see more products and technologies which will enable a common man to use these platforms and technologies to solve everyday problem. Some examples seen being deployed in the market include monitoring moisture level and key chemical component of the soil, triggering appropriate notifications while automatically controlling water value for drip irrigation. This improves the crop yield and makes it more predictable. The solution provider in this case didn’t have any engineering background and with simple platforms and hardware or software development kits, he was able to create a solution to a day-to-day problem and productize the same.

Access to such smart technology levels the playing field; pushing consumers to challenge their own potential as they begin using this available technology in multiple ways to enhance their efficiency and productivity. So, it is not just enabling of great technology but also enabling the fusion of great technology with bright ideas. Device innovation will eventually help consumers reach their full potential, building what we like to call everyday geniuses.

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